Friday, 15 May 2009

Dessert for the Brain

I love buffets... sometimes when I look at the menu in a regular restaurant and everything looks so good I hate the thought I have to pick just one. I will forever remember a wonderful dinner with my beautiful wife on our first night in Naples.. a room with a view of the moon over the bay and then a great dinner, and for dessert, three incredible choices.. we simply could not decide. Then the waiter leaned over and quietly asked, "Would you like me to order a selection with some of each?" WOULD WE! and then it came, each dessert tempting the mouth and mind to ignore all the others.... THIS was the dessert you lived to taste, and yet, each was made even better by the presence of the other two..... ahhh, it is the dessert of our life.

That's why I like Math Teachers at Play. It is like a buffet of mathematical and educational ideas, and this one has way more than three delicious treats for teachers at every level.

This time Denise has a lesson about quilts, Jason Dyer has a picture of a curious and interesting French plate (which also came from Denise I think down the line, clever lady)... look at the picture before you read the blog and see if you can figure out what it was for... It reminded me of the old pancake flipping problem, but that is only to distract you because it has almost nothing to do with pancakes.
Maria's Homeschool blog was about teaching division to student's with dyslexia. I worry about the number of parents who choose to homeschool their challenged students, not because I think they won't do a good job, but because it makes me realize they don't think WE do a good job, and I fear they may be right. I still struggle with the kids who "just don't get it" after I have explained it every different way I can think of... so I'm still looking for insight to teaching better at my somewhat extended age.
Speaking of "not getting it', Vlorbik (always a good read) talks about why the bright kids in calc can't see simple ideas about the derivative of a constant ...(but sir, it didn't LOOK like a constant)... and speaking of constants, if you think you know about phi and Fibonacci (factoid interlude, NO ONE called him that while he was alive) but you can't imagine how they relate to Geometric Sequences (pause while you scratch your head and contemplate).. then see John Cooks article (another regular big-hitter on my list).

Ok, I could drone on and on until the bell rings... but it is just one great article after another, and like my dessert meal, each compliments the other...
Ok, one last word thing since it has shown up here so much....did you know the word dessert is derived from the French term for "clear the table".... I swear, I would not make this stuff up.

Great job, Misty, but I do have one last question..... so what is the etymology of Onomatopoeia (sorry dear reader, you have to read the Carnival to understand)
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